Enzo Fernandez: How New Chelsea Star Compares to Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher, Jorginho, Kovacic
- Enzo Fernandez is the latest Chelsea signing after the club finally agreed on a deal with Benfica
- Benfica had remained adamant about their intentions of selling the World Cup winner but Chelsea persisted
- A quick glance at statistics shows a player who is better than almost all the midfield options Chelsea has
Chelsea's intensive pursuit of Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez has revived memories of how Manchester United desperately wanted to sign Frenkie De Jong.
The Blues refused to give up on the World Cup-winning midfielder and pursued all avenues to land him before the lapse of the transfer window. They finally got their man for a British record fee.
For a player who was relatively unknown before the Qatar World Cup, many people have struggled to understand his huge price tag. But why was Chelsea so keen on getting Fernandez and at such an 'exorbitant' price?
Sports Brief takes a look at how he compares with other Chelsea midfielders. All the statistics used herein are courtesy of Fbref.com. Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic's statistics for the past year have been used for this study.
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NB: This was done before Jorginho left Chelsea for Arsenal. N'Golo Kante wasn't included having missed a huge chunk of the season due a niggling hamstring issue.
1. Total attempted shots/Expected goals
For starters, Fernandez betters every Chelsea midfielder in the total attempted shots and the non-penalty expected goals(xG). The Argentine xG stands at 0.19 every 90 minutes. The closest Chelsea midfielder is Mason Mount with a similar rating of 0.19. However, Mount has played 3013 minutes while Fernandez has played 2044 minutes.
Gallagher comes in in third place with an xG of 0.17 having played 2119 minutes. The bulk of his game time came during his loan spell at Crystal Palace. This stat alone shows that Fernandez ranks higher in expected goal return for every shot he takes.
2. Assists/Expected Assist Goals
Many midfielders are often judged by their ability to create chances for their forwards. Fernandez's rating stands at 0.26 in every 90 minutes while Mount's is 0.27 having played almost 1,000 extra minutes.
Gallagher has 0.04 while Jorginho and Kovacic stand at 0.10.
In terms of the expected assist goals (the passes which were supposed to be turned into goals but were missed), Fernandez leads again with a rating of 0.23 with Mount following at 0.20. Jorginho has 0.07, Kovacic 0.14 and Gallagher 0.13.
3. Shot-creating actions
These are the offensive actions often leading to a shot such as a pass, a dribble or a foul. Fernandes leads yet again with a rating of 4.49. His ball retention skills were evident in Qatar as he sat deep in Lionel Scaloni's midfield.
Mount has 4.06, Jorginho 2.81, Gallagher 2.38 and Kovacic 3.27.
4. Passes attempted/Pass completion/Progressive passes
Progressive passes are passes that the player has moved towards the opponent's goal area by at least 10 yards from its furthest point or passes into the penalty area.
Fernandez attempts 98.72 passes in every game, better than any profiled Chelsea player here. Of the passes attempted, his success rate stands at 85%. His progressive pass rating is 9.47.
Mount attempts 48.39 passes with an efficacy of 77.7%. His progressive pass rating is 3.94. Jorginho and Kovacic have better pass completion success than Fernandez with a rating of 88.3% and 87.3%.
Mount has been excluded from this category given that he isn't often required to track back and help out defensively all the time.
Jorginho comes out on top with better tackles and interception rate. His tackling rate of 2.88 is slightly better than Fernandez's 2.69. Gallagher is also adept at blocking and intercepting opponents' play.
Save for the last category, Fernandez betters the current crop of Chelsea players in every sector which explains why Chelsea are crazy about landing him and avoiding a potential auction battle with other clubs in the summer. The fact that Jorginho's and Kante's contracts are up in the summer as well underlines the urgency.
It should be understood that the English Premier League is more dynamic than the Portuguese league. It might be a reason why Fernandez is averaging better stats but if he can replicate the same performances in the EPL, then Chelsea has a jewel for many years to come because at only 21 years of age, he can only get better.
Inside Chelsea's new signing -Malo Gusto
Sports Brief has also reported that Chelsea seems to have acquired a combination of excellent crosses and crucial tackles in Malo Gusto after the 19-year-old was announced as the Blues’ latest signing on Sunday, January 29.
Gusto signed a deal running up until the year 2030 but will not feature for Chelsea until next summer as he is set to see out a loan deal with his current club Lyon.
According to a statement from Lyon, the deal includes 5m euro (£4.4m) in add-ons.
Source: Sports Brief News